It’s my second Meatless Monday dish, and I’ve been very excited to find new recipes that do not feature meat as the star. I almost think of this as a detox day to get in as much veggies and fruits as my body can muster.
This pasta sauce coincides nicely with both themes I am following this month, meatless (Mondays for sure only) and unprocessed (except for the pasta :/). The combination of the mushrooms, carrots, and eggplant really make this hearty so that if you are a die hard meat eater, you will not miss it in this dish.
After the fact, I added some raw sugar to the sauce as I felt like it was a little too sour. You could of course totally skip this if you want, but my taste buds haven’t quite gotten over the fake sweetness often added into dishes. What you are left with is a nicely balanced, FRESH sauce. You could even saute the veggies or maybe even roast them before putting them in the hot tub (aka slow cooker). If you do not like the veggies used, swap them out for something you love. And use whatever pasta you like. I just happened to have whole wheat shells on had. Use what you have! The possibilities are really endless…
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
10 ounce mushrooms, chopped
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 pound whole-wheat penne
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1. Mist a slow-cooker insert with cooking spray. Combine butter, onion, celery, carrot and garlic in slow cooker. Add eggplant, mushrooms and 1 tsp. salt. Stir in tomatoes, cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours. Stir once or twice during cooking.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook penne until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain pasta, toss with sauce, sprinkle with basil (and grated Parmesan, if desired) and serve.
New series on the way called Fit Fridays! Nice, quick, delicious healthy meals for the girl on the go! This recipe makes for a wonderful, sweet granola breakfast sneaking your favorite fruit into the mix. Feel free to change up the fruit I’ve used for your favorite. Question of the day – what’s your favorite healthy breakfast?
1/2 tsp arrowroot, blended with a little cold water (sub corn starch)
Preheat oven to 350°F
To make the granola, put all the dry ingredients into a bowl, then add the orange juice and honey and mix thoroughly. Spread out on a nonstick baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes. Remove from the oven, break up into pieces, then return to the oven for an additional 7-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and break up again. Let cool on the baking sheet. The mixture will become crunchy when cool.
To make the fruit cocktail, put the fruit into a bowl. Put the orange juice and zest, ginger, and honey into a small pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Gradually stir in the arrowroot mixture and cook, stirring constantly until thickened.
Pour the mixture over the fruit and let cool, cover, and let chill in the fridge.
Spoon the covered fruit into glasses and sprinkle with granola.
This dish can be prepared in advance and assembled just before eating.
The granola will keep well in an airtight container for several days and can be used with other fruit combos.